FCO advises British nationals travelling abroad to return to the UK immediately

Mar 23, 2020

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The Foreign & Commonwealth Office (FCO) is now advising all U.K. nationals to return home now amid the ongoing coronavirus crisis. In a new warning published on Monday night, the department said that if commercial flights are still available, British nationals travelling abroad should return to the U.K. now.

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In a statement published to the FCO website, the department said:

“The Foreign & Commonwealth Office (FCO) advises British people travelling abroad to return to the UK now, if commercial flights are still available. This advice was published on 23 March and takes effect immediately.

International travel is becoming very limited as air routes close, land borders close and new restrictions are put in place that prevent flights from leaving.

If you’re travelling abroad, you should:

  1. contact your airline or travel company now
  2. keep up-to-date with our travel advice pages. We are updating information on returning from the country you’re in as quickly as we can

We are working with airlines to keep routes open, and calling for international action to to keep routes open to enable British people can return home on commercial flights. We are also working around the clock to support those British travellers who are already finding difficulties to come back to the UK.

If you are a permanent resident overseas, you should stay and follow the advice of the local authorities in the country you live in.”

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Monday’s notice comes less than one week after the FCO advised UK nationals against all non-essential international travel.

If you’re a U.K. national who is currently abroad, it’s better to get home sooner rather than later. A number of airlines have been forced to severely cut capacity on their route networks, with some even completely suspending operations.

EasyJet and Ryanair said on Monday that as of later this week, most of their operations would be suspended. Given that flights are more likely to be cancelled at a high rate the later in the week we get, you should consider changing your plans to get on an earlier flight home to the U.K.

To stay on top of the latest coronavirus developments, and information on insurance, airlines and holidays, here are our key articles:

Featured photo by Richard Heathcote/Getty Images.

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